30 January 2017

Local MSP Backs Scottish Government on Forestry

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, has backed the Scottish Government on its ambitions for a fully devolved forestry policy.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate on developing forestry in Scotland. He focused on the importance of forestry to rural economies like the North-east and the additional benefits to climate change. In addition, he discussed the protections afforded by forests to biodiversity and general wellbeing.

The Scottish Parliament agreed that forests make a significant contribution to Scotland. Furthermore it agreed on the importance of cross-border working to tackle issues of research, development and disease prevention. The debate also highlighted the important role that forests will have in tackling climate change and the need to work in partnership with local authorities across Scotland.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is looking to expand our forest and woodland area. Full devolution of forestry and going with a regional approach gives us a real opportunity. It’s an opportunity to further develop a forestry policy that works for rural areas – like the North-east.

“I agree we should maintain cross-border research and development. It’s also crucial that we work in partnership with local organisations. Partnering with local authorities will ensure we get the best forestry strategies for our communities.”

“The benefits are obvious. Forestry provides thousands of jobs across Scotland and can assist us on our climate change targets – seeing as trees absorb CO2 and are a largely carbon neutral fuel. Forests also play a central role in protecting biodiversity and have beneficial effects on health. The Scottish Government’s ambitions will bring immense benefits.”

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